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Questions I have for Evolutionists, Q2

August 30, 2007

Question 2:

After asking an Evolutionist how we evolved with many “useful” body parts, they told me “we adapted to our surroundings”. Hence why we have body parts such as eyes, ears, hands, legs, etc. What were then, the specific surroundings for our hearing abilities to evolve?

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47 comments

  1. “Ears” have evolved in a lot of animals at different body parts. Ours (and the ones of all mammalians, birds, amphibians and reptiles) are enhanced versions of the ones in fishes.


  2. This is question begging. What then were the surroundings for fish to develope hearing?


  3. It’s an advantage to have more information about your surroundings than not to have them. If it doesn’t overflow the brain capacity of course.

    My guess – I have no idea of the amount we really know about this special part:

    Some tactile nerve cells sitting by mistake behind a thin bone gave some information that enhanced the fitness. So they stayed and are now also in our heads.

    It’s always the same principle. Some freak stuff turns out to be useful and stays and gets improved.


  4. “special part”??? What does that mean? What is the criterion for “special” in your worldview? Did you do an experiment in a lab and test whether hearing was “special”? If your a consistent Naturalist, you’re not allowed to use this terminology unless you borrow from the Christian worldview.

    You explained NOTHING here: Some tactile nerve cells sitting by mistake behind a thin bone gave some information that enhanced the fitness. So they stayed and are now also in our heads.

    What information bought about all that is necessary for hearing?


  5. “special part”??? What does that mean? English is not my native language – sorry. I meant “distinguishable by function from the rest of the organism” and not “superior”. No ranking implied, just a discrimination from the other stuff like bones, eyes, blood vessels and so on.

    If your a consistent Naturalist, you’re not allowed to use this terminology unless you borrow from the Christian worldview.

    Where do I borrow from the Christian woldview? Please explain.

    You explained NOTHING here: Some tactile nerve cells sitting by mistake behind a thin bone gave some information that enhanced the fitness. So they stayed and are now also in our heads.

    This explanation is understandable if you have the basic knowledge about the Theory of Evolution. It started with a freak accident that enhanced the fitness of the animal. There are a lot of them, most are deadly. But some are not. The sheer numbers of organisms and the long time make events with low probability very probable. It had to happen only once – like getting the right numbers in the lottery. 1:14 million here – but happens (nearly) each week several times.

    What information bought about all that is necessary for hearing? I don’t understand that question – please rephrase.


  6. The whole notion of “special” is a metaphysical concept. Nothing is “special” unless there is purpose, meaning, and beauty. These are metaphysical things. They don’t grow naturally on trees.

    Wow. You reiterated that you can’t answer the question. You should at least admit you don’t know instead of replying like a fool.


  7. You are insulting me based on a word I use in a foreign language? I stated what I meant with “special” above.

    I have answered your question as far as I can, have given you a hypothesis how this feature may have evolved. I can’t answer more specific, because I don’t know the details in this case and I have not the time neither the inclination to research the literature.

    You have not answered a single of my questions above:

    Where do I borrow from the Christian woldview? Please explain.

    “What information bought about all that is necessary for hearing?” I don’t understand that question – please rephrase.


  8. OK. If you don’t know then you don’t know.


  9. I have answered your question as far as I can, have given you a hypothesis how this feature may have evolved. I can’t answer more specific, because I don’t know the details in this case and I have not the time neither the inclination to research the literature.

    You have not answered a single of my questions above:

    Where do I borrow from the Christian woldview? Please explain.

    “What information bought about all that is necessary for hearing?” I don’t understand that question – please rephrase.


  10. I think you answered it already.


  11. Where do I borrow from the Christian woldview? Please explain.

    “What information bought about all that is necessary for hearing?” I don’t understand that question – please rephrase.


  12. You use terminology that assumes the supernatural, such as ‘design’ when implying that something in nature is “special”. If everything is ultimately atoms, matter, and electromagnetism, where does “special” come from? You would have no basis to consistently say one arrangement of atoms is really more “special” than another apart from the supernatural.

    What were the surroundings which brought about hearing? It doesn’t seem that physical experiments or thought experiments can account for this. That doesn’t disprove Evolution, but I just thought I’d ask.


  13. I have stated above that I meant “special” in a way that does not assume the supernatural. You are deliberately misquoting, isn’t that covered by “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour”?

    And now I understand your question. I’ll break my answer down in simple steps.

    Before hearing there was sound. Sound is produced by movement – sound is periodic movement of a medium, mainly water and in our case, air.

    An animal produces sound while it moves – not deliberately but as a byproduct of movement.

    Animals are either predators or prey or both – depending on their place in the food chain.

    Information about other moving animals is an advantage for predator and prey.

    Sound can induce resonance in thin structures, like a bone or a part of rigid skin. The structure then starts to move in sync.

    One of the many ways of genetics can place a tactile nerve ending behind that structure – by chance, not by plan! They are all over the body, so there would be nothing unusal about that.

    While the brain of the animal “learns” during childhood how to interpret the signals from the nerves, this nerve gets special attention because it fires always in advance to an encounter with something moving.

    This animal has a higher chance of survival because it is alert before something moving comes up in the rest of its sensory system and can react faster than the ones without this “hearing”.

    And if this “special” animal survives and has offspring that inherits this trait, they have also more chances to survive then the ones without.

    If not, wait a million or thousand or two years to the next one who has this feature.

    This beginning of hearing can then evolve to the state we have now – with tiny modifications. Only the ones that turn out to be better in “fitness” have a chance to spread through the population.

    But now I have a question for the Intelligent Designer: Why has a squid a “sensibly designed” eye that has all the blood vessels and nerves behind the retina – and we have such a “cobbled together” eye with nerves and blood vessels in front of it and so in the optical pathway? Every engineer giving that design to his boss would be fired on the spot.


  14. Thanks for the attempted thought experiment. It’s a good one. I’ll give you that.

    Why has the “Designer” created squid’s eyes better than human eyes?

    1. The fact that you even say it’s “sensibly designed” assumes design. You are admitting my worldview! Further, you’re assuming the eye is intended for something, such as seeing. To be consistent with your worldview you can’t be sure the eye is for seeing, or for anything. It’s just a fluke. But you’re assuming the eye is intended for seeing in your question, thus you are assuming it is designed to see.

    2. To be consistent with your worldview, you’re really saying that you believe Evolution produces crappy human eyes.

    3. Could you have invented the eye?

    4. By definition, God is under no obligation to ask you how good He should make your eyes. You would have no eyes if it wasn’t for His grace. Our glorified bodies will probably have amazing indestructible eyes. In your worldview, your crappy eyes were produced randomly and will turn back to dust. Congratulations.

    5. You are an intelligent designer yourself because you designed an intelligible question to me. The only difference between us is that I believe in an even greater Intelligent Designer.

    6. You think human eyes are crappy. OK, that’s YOUR opinion. You just produced a crappy question. That isn’t proof to me that God doesn’t exist but is proof that He DOES exist. You are required to use what only He can provide to even ask such a question, namely, the laws of logic.


  15. The fact that you even say it’s “sensibly designed” assumes design. You are admitting my worldview!
    No, I am taking your position for my argument, therefore I used the “” around the “design”. Our eyes and Squid eyes are evolved and not designed.

    To be consistent with your worldview you can’t be sure the eye is for seeing, or for anything. It’s just a fluke.
    You still haven’t got what the Theory of Evolution is about. The eye isn’t a fluke. It’s an organ for seeing – evolved in countless steps in a chain like the one above. Each step was the result of a variation in in a generation. Better eyes were more successful and survived while others with less good eyes died.

    To be consistent with your worldview, you’re really saying that you believe Evolution produces crappy human eyes.
    Right, they could have been better. But somewhere in the past of our chain of ancestors was a stage where eyes were simply depressions in the skin, clad with light sensitive cells. These “cup eyes” made no difference in fitness with the light sensitive cells on the surface or below the nerves and vessels. So both types survived. One were the ancestors of the squid, the other of all vertebrates, from the earliest fishes to us.

    I think this is one of the best “proofs” (Science can not prove a Theory, only heavily try to disprove it. If that fails for long enough the Theory is considered to be right.) for the Theory of Evolution. There was never a plan to build an eye. So basic needs for a good construction were missed. Evolution builds always on what is there, there is no way of reconstruction. But our eyes are filled with a lot of small “tricks” to work around that flaw from the past. So they are among the best that were possible with this handicap.

    Could you have invented the eye?
    No, I would have designed a better one. From scratch. You get better designs if you don’t have to have a success after each iteration and are allowed only small steps.

    You are an intelligent designer yourself because you designed an intelligible question to me. The only difference between us is that I believe in an even greater Intelligent Designer.
    I don’t believe in supernatural things when there is a natural explanation.

    The Theory of Evolution describes a logical way how life changed over billions of year from some slime on rocks in water to the lifeforms you see around you. The fossil record supports this Theory, there has nothing been found that was a contradiction. We have seen evolution taking place in front of our eyes, from butterflies in England to bugs that get resistant.

    We see in biochemistry and genetics how similar all life is – and how the differences follow the patterns that have been predicted by the evolutionists. There has never been a result that contradicted evolution. We can even calculate by the amount of change on biochemical level, how long it was to a common ancestor between two species. These results are often supported by fossils, never contradicted up to now.

    So I have not a single reason to think that an Intelligent Designer was at work.

    If you believe in an Intelligent Designer, you are either uninformed about the alternative (as is obvious from your postings) or you put your psychological needs above logic. Evolution doesn’t make God impossible – but it makes us common with all of nature. Some people can’t accept that.

    You just produced a crappy question. Are you showing nerves here? You started with questions about Evolution. This one is a hard one for ID. 😉

    That isn’t proof to me that God doesn’t exist but is proof that He DOES exist. You are required to use what only He can provide to even ask such a question, namely, the laws of logic.

    According to the stuff I learned in Church it’s considered blasphemy to prove or try to prove the existence of God. You believe or not.

    For logic, I am with the old Immanuel Kant. I think it’s ‘a priori’, sitting in the fabric of the universe. We discovered it there and set up the rules.

    Our glorified bodies will probably have amazing indestructible eyes. In your worldview, your crappy eyes were produced randomly and will turn back to dust. Congratulations.

    Thank you.

    I think in English there is also a distinction between “randomly” and “caused by random events”. My eyes came not into my head by random but by a long chain of events that included a bit of randomness. Like a game played with dice. The rules are not random.

    For myself I can see the inevitable death with far more calm when I see myself going back into the big circuits of nature. I know there will be no existence of me except in the traces I left in the minds of other people. And of course in Google’s databases. I wasn’t here before birth, I will not be here after death. I am not today what I have been 20 years ago and I will not be the same in 20 years.

    No fear of judgement except my own, no fear of having followed the wrong Prophets (what makes you sure your Religion is right and all the others are wrong?) and no fear of eternal existence.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to die. I have to and I accept that. I hope it occurs in a convenient moment.


  16. You haven’t thought through your worldview enough. To say something is “better” such as a squid’s eye over a human eye is to advocate design. If I say a car is better than another car it’s because the car has a specific function and is intended for that function. One serves that function better than the other, thus is designed. Take something that does not serve a specific function, like a puddle and a pile of dirt. No one says a puddle is “better” than a pile of dirt. Again, you are advocating design when you say something is better because you assume it is better because it serves a certain function better. In a purely naturalistic universe, we can’t say the eye is for seeing, but at best, only has the “appearance” to be for seeing. But once you say it’s for seeing, you’ve crossed over into design theory.

    I said “To be consistent with your worldview, you’re really saying that you believe Evolution produces crappy human eyes.”
    You said Right, they could have been better.
    I’m glad you admit that Evolution produced crappy eyes. It’s the most consistent thing you’ve said.

    You ARE an intelligent designer because you designed an intelligent, yet poor, question to me.
    Your response to this was I don’t believe in supernatural things when there is a natural explanation.

    Here you are only begging the question as to what is “natural”. I believe God is more natural than the natural, hence supernatural. You believe the “natural” is the only reality. Interesting that you believe this. Here’s why this is so inconsistent…

    You said I think it’s ‘a priori’, sitting in the fabric of the universe. We discovered it there and set up the rules.

    So the a priori of logic is natural? So you can stub your toe on it? Is the law of non-contradiction in the fabric of rocks? Have you tested this hypothesis. Seriously man, an a priori such as logic is non-physical. That’s like trying to say that marbles can account for non-marbles.

    You said We discovered it there and set up the rules.

    Really?! So we set up the law of non-contradiction?! That means that the law of non-contradiction didn’t exist until we set that rule up? Therefore, the sun was hot and but also not hot until we came along. Wow, your worldview is amazing!

    May God save your intellect from its inconsistencies.


  17. Also, if you believe that squid’s eyes are so great, then you’re really saying that hypothetically God is a great designer!!! But just not for you. But then again, why should you be any better? In your worldview you’re just matter in motion.

    Further, God didn’t just create the seen but the unseen, such as the human soul. That is the most amazing thing of all creation. God did not design the eye to last forever, but the soul. The eye is temporal but the destiny of the soul is eternal. So Christians would agree with you. But even if it’s your opinion that it’s “bad” design, which it isn’t, you are only still admitting that it is designed.

    Also, what do you do for entertainment? Movies, arts, music??? Which ever it is, like most humans, you get entertained from what other humans do, think, and say. Therefore, God did a pretty good job on humans.

    Also, in regards to God designing the human eye you said every engineer giving that design to his boss would be fired on the spot.

    Here are some facts about the human eye: The eye, like a top-of-the-line modern camera, contains a self-adjusting aperture, an automatic focus system, and an inner surface that minimizes the scattering of stray light. But the sensitivity range of the eye, which gives us excellent vision in both sunlight and moonlight, far surpasses that of any film. Its neural circuitry enables the eye to automatically enhance contrast. And its color-analysis system enables it to quickly adjust to lighting conditions (incandescent, fluorescent, or sunlight) that would require a photographer to change filters and films.

    We don’t even have cameras which are as complex as the eye! So according to your logic, all camera engineers should have been fired on the spot? You are evidence of God when you make these kinds of foolish statements.

    Rom 1:21 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”


  18. Again, you said “every engineer giving that design to his boss would be fired on the spot.”

    Yet, engineers need their eyes to help them determine if something is designed properly or not! They must use their eyes to study the eye and see if it’s poorly designed! If this “boss” is firing the engineer for making the eye, then the boss should be fired too, because he is using the very thing he’s unhappy with (eyes) to determine if its designed well.

    Again, your arguments are foolish.


  19. Yet, engineers need their eyes to help them determine if something is designed properly or not! They must use their eyes to study the eye and see if it’s poorly designed!

    Absolutely my point. There is no designer, the proverbial “Watchmaker” is blind.

    This “Design” is the result of countless iterations, all with little changes and deviations due to imperfections in the copy process from generation to generation. Only the ones that worked well enough survived in the gene pool.
    We have these really fantastic bodies with all the little “design flaws”. But they are no flaws, they are traces of the history of evolution.

    They would be flaws if there is/was a designer.


  20. Now I have a question:

    Is there any proof for the existence of a “soul”?


  21. If you don’t believe anything is designed, then that means nothing has a purpose. Everything just “is”. You can’t say the eye is for seeing then. It just happens to send images of matter into other matter, that’s all. Thus, even when you make remarks about God being a bad designer, you presume to know what ‘design’ even is, thus are boarder line proof that design is an actual thing, not an imaginary thing (which would have to be the case if your worldview were actually true.) I would argue you know what design is because you are designed in the likeness of a Master Designer.

    “Is there any proof for the existence of a “soul”?”

    Absolutely. You are proof. You have a conscience of right and wrong, a will, and a mind. Looking specifically at minds, they must use the laws of logic.

    Souls use the laws of logic because they are created in the image of God, whom logic is derived from. Read my post “Why Christianity makes the most sense of Logic” on my front page.

    Let me ask you, why is it that the non-supernatural (human minds in your worldview) must act supernaturally (according to the law of non-contradiction, something not found anywhere in nature)?


  22. you should not use the principle of non contradiction at all unless you can wrap your brain around how russels paradox holds true within it and other intuitionist logics. if you can’t wrap your brain around that then you have no business even attempting to make definitive statements in regards to non contradiction, and especially no business calling someone a fool when your foundational understanding of this topic is so small and limited to aristotelian logic.

    you have no counter for any of the mountains of evidence that we have for evolution and yet you are willing to be so disingenuous as to portray your opinion as fact when as far as beyond the “big bang” none of us KNOW anything. and no, your opinions that are based on the feelings you get when reading and talking about your god do not count as knowledge.

    it has recently been discovered however that matter is merely vacuum fluctuations so you should think about how that affects your worldiew.


  23. you should not use the principle of non contradiction at all unless you can wrap your brain around how russels paradox holds true within it and other intuitionist logics.

    oh OK

    your opinions that are based on the feelings you get when reading and talking about your god do not count as knowledge.

    How do you know that knowledge can’t come about this way? Have you observed all possibilities to conclude this?

    matter is merely vacuum fluctuations so you should think about how that affects your worldiew.

    OK


  24. if there is no controlling factor to determine whether a personal, internal, chemically induced experience is valid externally then all you have is a personal experience that means nothing to anyone but you. while i won’t reject the possibility that these experiences may impart some knowledge it would be very solipsist to assume that they have any meaning outside of the individual.


  25. So it sounds like you’re saying the only way we should trust data is by direct observation. Tell me then, where did you directly observe this claim if it is true?


  26. think about your question and then think about practicality and then think about semantic games. i don’t need to trust the data that was used to program software on my computer and i don’t need to directly observe it for it to work. you know what i’m talking about so why the games?


  27. OK, then I don’t need to directly observe God to know that He exists. Who’s playing games? I’m using your reasoning.


  28. this is horrible cameron. you know you aren’t using my reasoning. you, at least seem to be clever enough to distinguish between software and a supposed supernatural being. if your not then my apologies. we really can’t go any further.


  29. You said you don’t need to see the software coding to know that it exists when you use your computer. I agree, I don’t need to see God yet to know that He designed humans with DNA coding. This is using your same reasoning. You believe there was a programmer, so do I.


  30. if you can’t acknowledge the difference between these two concepts then i really have nothing more to say to you.

    this is akin to using architecture as an argument for ID when we know what architecture is, how it works , the materials used. we’ve even seen an architect and the builders.

    take crystals for example. some of the most complex organizations of material that we know of and we can watch them form before our eyes.

    we have naturalistic explanations for everything on our planet. we don’t need to invoke anything else.

    seriously, i understand that you want to, and that’s fine but are you really content to continue using such an obviously incorrect characterization of my reasoning to support your belief system?


  31. If you want to end the conversation on this topic I’m fine with that.

    Lastly, architects are intelligent beings. Thanks for putting points on my scoreboard. And design inference doesn’t just say something is extremely complex. It looks for other things to like specificity, intention, usefulness, functionality. All of which can be detected with what DNA coding produces, not crystals. Crystals are a half argument at best for you.


  32. why is it impossible for you to acknowledge the difference between a man made abject and an object that we know has a natural explanation? i know why. because you have an agenda. you think if you accept something like evolution then your worldview is challenged. it’s not. you can still believe in god and accept evolution.

    you have no way to show that there is intention with any piece of this universe that you have readily accessible so your design inference fails immediately. the other three examples are easily accounted for by evolution. design is an opinion that has no viable evidence. this is the part where once again i point out to you how it is dishonest to present your opinion as truth.


  33. We all have agendas. The question is which agenda is true and good?

    I do accept micro-evolution, but not macro-evolution. Further, I do not accept there being extreme complexity, specificity, and functionality at the most basic level needed for life to exist apart from ‘intention’, as opposed to the ‘appearance of intention’.

    You can still do science and accept God’s existence too. But because you hate Him and are dependent on Him restoring your mind and heart, you can’t do anything but continue to hate Him and supress truth.

    Every time you reply to me you prove the inconsistency of your worldview. Who cares about arguing if we’re just a byproduct of our biological makeup?

    you have no way to show that there is intention with any piece of this universe that you have readily accessible so your design inference fails immediately.

    Did you intend that response?


  34. yes i did mean that response. all you have is an opinion that things appear designed but you have nothing to show for it. give me one shred of provable intention that is external from what you’re measuring. you can’t because it’s an opinion and opinions are meaningless in rational discourse.because you seem to have intention you project intention into everything else. this doesn’t mean that it’s true. you may be right but you can’t verify that you are as of yet unless you count your own opinion as verification.

    how can i hate god. this is and always will be such a silly way to argue. since i can’t reconcile rationality with your worldview i must hate god. this is befuddled desperation at best.

    you really don’t get it with this worldview thing, do you? you sound like a child who thinks they got the only cookie and even when they realize there are other children with other cookies they have to hold on to the hope that they have the best cookie.


  35. You said you have no way to show that there is intention with any piece of this universe that you have readily accessible

    I said “did you intend that response?”

    You said yes i did mean that response.

    Thanks. You just proved my point.

    you may be right but you can’t verify that you are as of yet unless you count your own opinion as verification.

    And you can’t verify that the only way we can know something is by verifying it.

    how can i hate god. this is and always will be such a silly way to argue. since i can’t reconcile rationality with your worldview i must hate god. this is befuddled desperation at best.

    This is your opinion. Why don’t you stay consistent with your own worldview and verify this statement.

    you sound like a child who thinks they got the only cookie and even when they realize there are other children with other cookies they have to hold on to the hope that they have the best cookie.

    1. There can only be one truth. Either you’re right, or I’m right, or were both wrong. There’s no other options then these. 2. We both think we have the right cookie. If you were really consistent with this statement then you would do what your telling me to do and accept that I am just another child with another cookie. But you would rather contradict yourself in this way and not even care. This is what is called having your cake and eating it too.

    You seem really bitter and angry in your tone. Maybe it’s because this is an impersonal blog and I’m wrong. But on a personal note, are you OK? What are your ambitions in life? What do you want to accomplish before you die that will be meaningful?


  36. now you’re just playing word games. the issue we were debating was whether or not anything here absolutely displays intent, not if we can intend to do something.

    so, how do we “know” things if they can’t be verified? i understand what you’re saying, i think. i realize that people get hunches, have intuition and such that can be accurate but these are not quantifiable. while they hold meaning personally, how can they be expected to be taken seriously in the scientific realm when they can’t be repeated with consistency or shown to be demonstrably accurate in the first place?

    ok, maybe you had completely different reasons, other than befuddlement, to make the claim that i hate god. i shouldn’t have made that assumption. maybe you could admit your motives for making such a claim.

    i haven’t ascribed to any absolute truth, even the idea that there can be only one truth. i’m an agnostic because while a majority of scientists in this world are atheist, they are smart enough to understand the physics of cosmology and how these mechanics might indicate an origin without a god. and while theists on the other hand are statistically less likely to have that level of intelligence, they ascribe to non transferable knowledge for there proof, which i do not trust as an adequate measure of knowledge or understanding.

    i’m just a very dry person. i’ll debate this way with people i love dearly and i do so because i expect to have my ideeas challenged with the same level of scrutiny. it is a pet peeve of mine when opinions are referred to as if they were facts, though. i’m sure i’m as guilty as anyone on that but i try to qualify and hope to be corrected when i don’t.

    i’m as ok as any human. i don’t put too much stock in being “ok” since as we speak innocent civilians are being slaughtered in gaza and all over the world. thinking of the world in this way makes the “positive” impact of trifles like a birthday cake or a day shopping much less significant. i’d like to make a difference though i haven’t pinned down exactly how yet. thanks for showing concern, though it won’t affect my coarse tone:)


  37. so, how do we “know” things if they can’t be verified? i understand what you’re saying, i think.

    More specifically, I’m asking “when/where/how did you verify that the only things we can know are verifiable?”

    This demand of pure observation in order to know things is a double standard.

    while they hold meaning personally, how can they be expected to be taken seriously in the scientific realm when they can’t be repeated with consistency or shown to be demonstrably accurate in the first place?

    My friend this is how a lot of science is done. That is one reason we have scientific theories when things are less repeatable and less observable.

    i haven’t ascribed to any absolute truth

    Are you absolutely sure that you’re unsure?

    and while theists on the other hand are statistically less likely to have that level of intelligence, they ascribe to non transferable knowledge for there proof, which i do not trust as an adequate measure of knowledge or understanding.

    Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, and Einstein were all Deists, a form of Theism. And Naturalism can’t account for there being “proofs” in the first place. Proof requires the abstract reality of universal meanings.

    I’m glad that you’re OK. Then again, if my worldview is correct, then you’re the opposite of OK apart from Christ’s perfect life for you imperfect one and His undeserved death for your deserved one. I hope you do find a way to make a difference in your life.


  38. thanks, i think. ha. i try not to take it as condescension because i know where you’re coming from. can you at least admit, though, that coming from a stranger, as you are, a deserving death sentence is a little far beyond your ability to judge?

    the demand of pure observation in order to know things about our physical world is not a double standard. how else can we know anything and make that knowledge transferable? i think your gripe is with the downplay of non transferable experiential knowledge. i really can’t say anything about that other than it’s called non transferable for a reason. so even if it meant everything in the world, how could it mean anything to anyone but you?

    everything in science is a theory. there are gaps in knowledge everywhere. that doesn’t make the theories equatable with non transferable information. the fact is that all of them have repeatable, observable, transferable information.

    i’m pretty unsure about things i don’t know:)

    deism is not a form of theism. einstein’s view of god, although it’s greatly misunderstood by many christians, was akin to the god of spinoza, not traditional deism.


  39. I don’t make comments like that on my own authority but Scripture’s. I also don’t mean it to be cynical but loving. Hypothetically, if it’s true, then that is one of the most loving things I can bring up to you and anyone else. Also, I have very good reasons to believe the Bible’s description of man. That is why we are so evil, have locks, jails, broken homes, etc. I believe morality can only be a possibility if the Triune God is real. Thus, we would all be accountable to Him for breaking His good morality. Lastly, I bring those things up because Scripture also says that the only way someone can go from being hostile to Christ to knowing Him is the gospel message, not intellectual arguments.

    But back to the intellectual stuff…

    the demand of pure observation in order to know things about our physical world is not a double standard.

    And so where did you observe this truth?

    And the only reason knowledge can be transferable or shared from person to person is because all of our minds use the same universal meanings. Such meanings are abstract, none observable.

    I think we have different definitions of Theism. Theist’s believe in a god or god’s, so do Deist’s. If they didn’t either would be Atheist. Am I wrong?


  40. it’s not so much that it’s an absolute truth as it is the only thing we have to go on. 1+1=2, i drop something and it falls.

    i would argue that these universal meanings are observable. it’s not abstract when i can count two apples or watch them fall. the way we think about them may be abstract but it’s easy to put those thoughts into action.

    i don’t see a differing definition here, just when you say that deism is a form of theism. i mean, why not reverse it if that’s the claim? because neither are reliant on the other. they’re mutually exclusive.


  41. Universal meanings are observable? Wow, Plato would have fully disagreed with you. That’s the ramification of the age of empiricism however. Where did you observe the classification of “odd number”?

    And when you’re identifying apples, you’re using an abstract universal meaning and attaching it to the physical. You’re still proving my point. Just because you attach it to the physical doesn’t mean everything is physical! That’s an unwarranted leap.

    I don’t reverse the terms because like I’ve stated earlier, Deism is a form of Theism. It believes in a God, but different things about God’s nature, such that he/she/it is impersonal, unknowable, distant, etc. all with varying degrees depending on the Deist’s worldview.


  42. and i would have fully disagreed with him. we can’t observe gravity with our eyes. but we can observe it’s effects. much like i can’t see the classification of odd number but i learned what i was in math class. i’m not saying that i completely disagree with you either. i just think metaphysics are presumptuous, especially when we have every evidence that thoughts and intentions are reliant on material but no evidence that they aren’t.

    you really should choose your language more carefully. when you say something is proven, i’m not sure you understand the ramifications of that word. you haven’t proven anything and i especially haven’t proven your point. proofs don’t work outside the realm of math. even the most rigorously tested scientific theories are not proven. that’s why they’re called theories. yes, i’m attaching a universal meaning to apple. it’s not abstract though. without the apple there would be no universal meaning. to claim that a mental construct, devised for the classification of objects, is beyond physical needs some evidence to support it. the only evidence that you have is that you can’t see a thought.

    look up the definitions of these words and you’ll see that it’s not in your power to simply say that one is a subgroup of the other. they are two different words with two different meanings and are mutually exclusive.


  43. I don’t think that’s a real question. I think you’re just trying to fuck with us.


    • You apparently can’t even theorize it, so instead you have to question my motives. This is called wimping out.

      I’ve posted other posts on here, more recent ones, on the fact that creation is profoundly contingent. A purely materialistic view of the world, which you’re seemingly drunk on, can’t account for this.


  44. Cameron,

    In some of your posts, you posit really, REALLY good questions regarding philosophy, metaphysics, logic, moral ontology, etc. I have a lot of respect for your constant search to validate your beliefs and defend them. I hope this venture helps to strengthen or adjust your points of view regarding theism.

    This post, however, is widely uninformed. It strikes me that you have not read any reputable work on evolutionary biology, or at least haven’t given them due respect. It is hard to read your responses, that quickly go off the wheels into arguments about logic and idealism v. materialism, and think this is not just some presuppositionalist launching pad. Evolution does not merit these diversions. Keep in mind, there are many reputable theists who assert that evolution is not inconsistent with the existence of God. I agree! You can have an evolutionary mechanism and still have God. I won’t quibble over His existence with you here, but I want to answer your question. I really do, because there is a scientific, verifiable premise that would account for ‘hearing’ under evolutionary theory.

    1. Sound. Sound, as we interpret it, is just pressure waves. These pressure waves travel through various media (water, solid land, air, other gases), strike the eardrum, induce nervous stimuli, and the vibrations register as sounds according to their frequency and amplitude.

    2. Existence of ‘sound’ waves independent of one’s ability to hear. Whether or not you are deaf, or have fully formed hearing mechanisms, pressure waves emitting through a medium demonstrably exist. This provides the ‘surroundings’ you asked about in your post. On a planet with various media that can transmit pressure waves, species have evolved to interpret them in ways that yield benefits.

    3. ‘Hearing’ exists outside of the existence of mammalian eardrums. For instance, fish have a swim bladder, that for many species rests right behind the inner ear, allowing the transmission of stimuli to the nearby interpreter (the ‘ear’ or ‘brain’) more efficiently. In other aquatic species, the swim bladder is connected to the inner ear by a series of small bones called Weberian ossicles. These function similar to our anvil, hammer, and stirrups. By evolution, one considers a feature (or genetic mutation) advantageous not just in the individual sense. For instance, sight has evolved in may species in many different forms. There are over 40 types of eye that have evolved. There are fewer manifestations of ear, but they all confer the same advantage. The many different manifestations of ‘ear’ and ‘hearing’ actually provide a stronger body of evidence to evolutionary theory.

    4. The emission of pressure waves, ‘sound,’ are a form of stimulus. The approaching mate, the looming predator, environmental disasters, etc all emit this stimulus in the form of sound waves, which gives a distinct advantage to those who can interpret those stimuli over those that cannot. This is why ‘silent’ predators who can stalk effectively put the hearing impaired at a disadvantage, just as camouflage can obscure prey to a visually acute predator!

    What then were the specific surroundings for our hearing to evolve? Well, an Earth where sufficiently dense and varied media transmit pressure waves. Evolving traits that allowed species to react to these stimuli and, further, interpret them, has conferred the evolutionary advantage of ‘hearing’ over ‘not hearing.’

    Please, PLEASE, read more on this. This is not an argument for or against God. Evolution is a brilliant, elegant, and insightful piece of science’s explanatory power. It is not inconsistent with God, it just doesn’t require his ‘design’ at every level.

    I hope this helps.


  45. More of my recent posts get into this more, which talk about contingency within the world, or an inter-dependency within creation. I’d argue design accounts for this profound and staggering contingency within the Universe than Naturalism does.


    • I read your post titled ‘reality is profoundly contingent.’ I liked it, but this is where I’m not sure all signs point to theism. For instance, we could be created by a computer program a la the simulation hypothesis, and we would both be (kind of) right regarding creation and ‘god.’ [For the record, I’m not supporting the simulation hypothesis, just illustrating a point.] Maybe we can agree on one point, which is that a tree falling in the forest emits pressure waves through an atmospheric medium? Either way, the emergence of ‘hearing’ would certainly confer an evolutionary advantage…



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